Buffalo Bill the showman would have appreciated the Buffalo Bill Days festival in downtown Leavenworth. Tonight and Saturday there will be outhouse races (think the low-tech version of Red Bull Flugtag), a beard and mustache contest, and the Leavenworth Hog Wild BBQ Contest. Save room for chili dogs and step back into the Wild West. The festival runs 3-11 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday.
Let everyone else go to the Westport Art Fair for the art (Friday through Sunday). The real reason to go is to sip a craft beer and inhale a gyro from the Jerusalem Cafe while sitting at the outdoor tables on Westport Road. The show runs 5-9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.
Love spinach? There’s a festival for that. The Lenexa Spinach Festival returns Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., at Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park (West 87th and Lackman Road). You can try what festival organizers are calling the world’s largest spinach salad, enter a recipe for a spinach-recipe contest, and meet Popeye and Olive Oyl (did you doubt they’d be there?). Admission is $1; it's free for children under 12 years old.
America was built on root-beer floats, grilled corn on the cob and ice-cream socials. Experience all three at Johnson County Old Settlers Days in downtown Olathe. The three-day event runs through Saturday with a carnival and parade through downtown Olathe. The ice-cream social is at 5:30 p.m. all three nights, and the parade is Saturday at 10 a.m.
Summer was meant for smoking — turning pork butt into gold or, in this case, $10,000 in cash. The 29th annual Blue Springs Barbeque Blaze-off is set for 6-11 p.m. today 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and tomorrow at the Hidden Valley Sports Complex (6500 N.W. Valley View Road). And this is the rare contest where you can taste everything the contestants are cooking. Contestants will be selling samples to benefit the Blue Springs Community Services League. (Conveniently, the beer garden is open the same hours.)
The real cure for summer heat is simply to eat something hotter. Test your limits for heat and the strength of your spoon hand at the 10th annual Chilifest in Lee’s Summit today and tomorrow. The event held in front of City Hall (Second Street and Green) is a fundraiser for the End Polio Now Campaign. You’ll be able to sample more than 50 chili recipes and get warm cinnamon rolls from the Rolling Café food truck.
What have you got on tap for the weekend?